I was perusing the top questions, and noticed this question, which, as highly-scoring as it was, seemed very broad. I wasn't sure whether it was too broad or primarily opinion-based, but I knew it fell into one of those categories because the answers provided were respective to the answerer, so I flagged it as primarily opinion-based.

Then I wake up the next morning and find my flag was declined without so much as an explanation.

Why was my flag declined?

  • 6
    $\begingroup$ @RamenChef I'll add that although a flag every now and then might be declined, you should keep flagging things that catch your eye as suspicious. However, flagging highly upvoted content doesn't usually seem like a good idea, as the many upvotes usually (but not always) indicates wide community support. MathSE is a bit odd when compared to the other SE sites concerning big-list or soft-questions. They are sometimes deemed acceptable, and sometimes not, and there is no cut-and-dried rule for them. $\endgroup$
    – davidlowryduda Mod
    Dec 18, 2016 at 20:41
  • $\begingroup$ Aside: math.stackexchange.com/posts/323334/revisions shows that this particular question has been closed and reopened 3 distinct times, as well as protected. I'd suggest locking it, but that's a topic for a different meta thread. $\endgroup$
    – apnorton
    Dec 18, 2016 at 21:57

1 Answer 1


If a flag is declined without any explanation, that always means it was declined from the review queue. A flag put a post in the close-vote or low-quality review queue, and all(1) reviewers decided the other way. In this case, all three reviewers voted to leave the question open, and thus your flag was automatically declined. Nobody ever had the chance to explain why the flag was declined - nobody was aware that it would be declined until after the fact.

When a moderator declines a flag, there is always a message (usually one of the canned messages, but often we give individual decline reasons) why the flag was declined; the software doesn't allow a moderator to decline a flag without giving a reason.

(1) I think one needs a unanimous outcome of the review to decline a flag, if the outcome is mixed, the flag is disputed. But I'm not 100% sure about that, could be that a large enough majority suffices to decline.


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